Reader provided links for Sept. 27 – 2015

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In order to preserve the flow of conversation about various posted items, and also in order to make it easier for visitors to find the list of related links being shared by other readers, regulars and interested parties in one place, each day a post is automatically created at a minute past midnight ET.

This way, under the various posts of the day, conversation can take place without as much ‘noise’ on the various links and articles and ideas in the main posts and all the news links being submitted can be seen under these auto-posts by clicking on the comments-link right below these ones.

Thank you all for those that take the effort to assist this site in keeping the public informed. Below, typically people can find the latest enemy propaganda, news items of related materials from multiple countries and languages, op-eds from many excellent sites who write on our topics, geopolitics and immigration issues and so on.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

66 Replies to “Reader provided links for Sept. 27 – 2015”

  1. The guardian – Artwork showing Sylvanian Families terrorised by Isis banned from free speech exhibition

    Isis Threaten Sylvania by the artist Mimsy is removed from Passion for Freedom exhibition at London’s Mall Galleries, after police raise security concerns. Below, Guardian critic Jonathan Jones reviews the artwork

    story + pics on this page :

  2. IAEA chief praises Pakistan’s ‘impressive’ nuclear security record (tribune, Sep 27, 2015)

    “UNITED NATIONS: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukia Amano praised on Sunday Pakistan’s ‘impressive’ nuclear security record.

    In a meeting with Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry on the sidelines of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in Nrw York, the IAEA chief said the agency is ready to help Pakistan and other countries achieve sustainable development goals.

    “The IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Programme with Pakistan was one of its largest in the world,” Amano said, while appreciating the country’s excellent cooperation with the agency…”

  3. France launches Syria anti-IS strikes (BBC, Sep 27, 2015)

    “France has carried out its first air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria.

    The president’s office said that French planes struck targets identified during reconnaissance missions conducted over the past fortnight.

    France co-ordinated with regional partners for the operation, a brief statement said.

    French jets have previously carried out air strikes against IS targets in neighbouring Iraq.

    “Our country thus confirms its resolute commitment to fight against the terrorist threat represented by Daesh,” the French Presidency said, referring to the militant group by another of its acronyms….”

  4. Migrant crisis: 17 people drown after boat sinks off Turkish coast (BBC, Sep 27, 2015)

    “Seventeen migrants attempting to reach Greece by boat from Turkey have drowned after their boat sank off the Turkish coast.

    The victims, all thought to be Syrians, included five women and five children, local media said.

    They were trapped in the boat’s cabin as it sank, Turkey’s Dogan news agency reported.

    Another 20 people on the boat’s deck, who were wearing life jackets, survived, the news agency said…”

  5. Fighting IS: What has a year of RAF combat missions achieved? (BBC, video, Sep 27, 2015)

    “It is one year since the RAF began combat missions against so-called Islamic State militant targets in Iraq.

    The Ministry of Defence estimates that airstrikes have so far succeeded in killing more than 330 IS fighters.

    The BBC’s Jonathan Beale is the first journalist to have the opportunity of joining an RAF Sentinel spy plane crew carrying out surveillance over Iraq and Syria.”

  6. Iraq to Share Intelligence on IS With Russia, Iran and Syria (abcnews, Sep 27, 2015)

    “Iraqi will begin sharing “security and intelligence” information with Russia, Syria and Iran to help combat the advances of the Islamic State group, the Iraqi military announced Sunday.

    A statement issued by the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said the countries will “help and cooperate in collecting information about the terrorist Daesh group,” using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

    Iraq has long had close ties with neighboring Iran and has coordinated with Tehran in fighting the advance of IS — which controls about a third of Iraq and Syria in a self-declared caliphate. Iranian commanders have helped lead Iraqi Shiite militiamen in combat….”

  7. WATCH: ISIS jihadis send chilling warning to Europe in TV interview (express, Sep 27, 2015)

    “The terrorists also sent a chilling warning to Europe during the eye-opening interviews, which were conducted by an Italian journalist at a jail in Iraqi Kurdistan.

    The first terrorist interviewed in the video, 30-year-old Muhenet, patiently explains the reasons behind the murderous regime’s tactics.

    He says: “The ISIS philosophy is the Jihad. Kill all enemies like the Shiites.

    “Christians have to convert to Islam otherwise they have to pay a residence tax to be in the Islamic State – or else they will be killed.”

    He also says that homosexuals are “stoned to death like the Koran states.”

    When asked about kidnapped women, the terrorist reveals that “the ones that did not convert to Islam were raped.”

    He adds: “Each one of us could get one. One woman cost approximately $800. However all women had their own price depending on their beauty.”

    The stony-faced jihadi only shows emotion when asked about ISIS’s plans for Europe – at which point he smiles.

    He says: “Islam will expand very soon. It will reach Europe and all the other nations. At this point the Islamic law will be in force, the Koran laws.”

    He explains that all European women would have to wear a full veil and beer would be banned…”

  8. SAS in race to destroy ISIS poison gas plant that could slaughter THOUSANDS (express, Sep 27, 2015)

    “SPECIAL forces were last night involved in a deadly race against time to find and destroy a Syrian chemical weapons factory before it is used to slaughter thousands of people.

    The order was given after intelligence reports revealed that the Islamic State terror group was planning a chemical attack on Kurds in the east of the country.

    Last night a team of 60 SAS soldiers were accompanying a US chemical warfare team in the hunt for the chlorine warehouse, said to be situated in a heavily fortified ISIS stronghold 50 miles from the Iraq border.

    According to Kurdish sources, the weapons may have been placed in an underground bunker to protect them from Nato air strikes.

    However, air strikes would not have been used against this target for fear of releasing the gas…”

  9. U.S. support for Syria rebels illegal, Putin says ahead of Obama meeting

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday branded U.S. support for rebel forces in Syria as illegal and ineffective, saying U.S.-trained rebels were leaving to join Islamic State with weapons supplied by Washington.

    In an interview with U.S. networks recorded ahead of a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, Putin said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad deserved international support as he was fighting terrorist organizations.

    Obama and Putin are scheduled to talk on Monday after Putin addresses the United Nations, although White House and Kremlin officials have disagreed on what the two leaders will discuss and even who initiated the meeting.

    “In my opinion, provision of military support to illegal structures runs counter to the principles of modern international law and the United Nations Charter,” he said in an excerpt of an interview with U.S. television networks CBS and PBS released by the Kremlin.

    Russia has stepped up its military involvement in Syria in recent weeks, with U.S. officials accusing Moscow of sending combat aircraft, tanks and other equipment to help the Syrian army.

    Russia’s sudden military build-up this month in support of Assad and a refugee crisis that has spilled over from the region into Europe have lent new urgency to attempts to resolve the Syria conflict.

  10. It isn’t illegal except possibly under Russian Law, it is poorly thought out and hampered by massive stupidity and treason at the higher levels of the US government.

    • He’s cutting off 0’s legs before they speak privately.
      Tactic favored by 0 prior to scheduled meetings with Bibi. Infuriating, forces staff revamp agenda on the fly.

  11. Catalan separatists eye election boost to defy Spain over independence

    BARCELONA (Reuters) – Separatist parties are expected to win control of Catalonia’s parliament in an election on Sunday, setting the region on course for a unilateral declaration of independence from Spain, which the central government says is impossible.

    Opinion polls show the main secessionist group “Junts Pel Si” (Together for Yes) and leftist party CUP are likely to fall short of 50 percent of the vote, but would still secure a majority of seats in the 135-strong regional assembly.

    Both have said that such a result would allow them to unilaterally declare independence within 18 months, under a plan that would see the new Catalan authorities approving their own constitution and building institutions like an army, a central bank or a judicial system.

    The Spanish center government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, which has opposed attempts to hold a referendum on secession, has called the breakaway plan “a nonsense” and vowed to block it in court. Spain’s constitution does not allow any region to break away.

  12. I find it interesting that the various separatists movements are pushing so hard during the invasion, especially since the KGB started all of the separatists movements.

  13. Iraq says Russia, Iran, Syria cooperating on security issues in Baghdad

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq has said its military officials are engaged in intelligence and security cooperation in Baghdad with Russia, Iran and Syria to counter the threat from the Islamic State militant group, a pact that could raise concerns in Washington.

    A statement from the Iraqi military’s joint operations command on Saturday said the cooperation had come “with increased Russian concern about the presence of thousands of terrorists from Russia undertaking criminal acts with Daesh (Islamic State).”

    The move could give Moscow more sway in the Middle East. It has stepped up its military involvement in Syria in recent weeks while pressing for Damascus to be included in international efforts to fight Islamic State, a demand Washington rejects.

    Russia’s engagement in Iraq could mean increased competition for Washington from a Cold War rival as long-time enemy Iran increases its influence through Shi’ite militia allies just four years after the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

    Russian news agency Interfax quoted a military diplomatic source in Moscow as saying the Baghdad coordination center would be led on a rotating basis by officers of the four countries, starting with Iraq.

    • Which means Israel might get the info in real-time. With the Russians, it is like it was when Arab Jews had infiltrated every Arab country’s intelligence agencies. Never perfect, but a great help. Wicked dangerous.

  14. In Uighur heartland, China vows ‘heavy pressure’ to defeat militants

    BEIJING (Reuters) – China will maintain “heavy pressure” to defeat militants in its far western region of Xinjiang, China’s fourth most senior leader said during a visit to its ethnic Uighur heartland, urging religious figures to take the lead in opposing extremism.

    The government says it faces a serious threat from Islamist militants and separatists in energy-rich Xinjiang, which sits strategically on the borders of central Asia and where hundreds have died in violence in recent years.

    However, exiles and rights groups say China has never presented convincing evidence of the existence of a cohesive militant group fighting the government, and that much of the unrest can be traced back to frustration at controls over the culture and religion of the Uighur people who live in Xinjiang.

    Visiting the old Silk Road city of Kashgar, deep in southern Xinjiang, Yu Zhengsheng said long-term stability must be the main goal for the region, the Xinjiang government said on its official news website on Sunday.

    “From beginning to end maintain heavy-handed pressure, and resolutely safeguard the people’s peaceful life,” Yu, who is in charge of religious groups and ethnic minorities and number four in the ruling Communist Party, told officials on his one-day visit on Saturday.

  15. There’s no Chinese aircraft carrier in Syria

    China may deploy her navy to Syria in the coming days, but there are no reliable indications that any Chinese navy arrivals are imminent.

    Taking the reports one by one:

    1. The web has exploded in the last few days with relays of a vague report from Al Masdar News that Chinese military personnel are expected to arrive in Syria in the next six weeks. That could happen. Now that it’s clear U.S. power will not be used in any decisive way in Syria, China may indeed see utility in putting down a serious political stake in the outcome there. More on that at another time.

    The Al Masdar report also says that a Chinese naval ship entered the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal on Tuesday, 22 September, with its destination unconfirmed.

    Although it’s possible a warship made that transit, it appears unlikely at the moment. For one thing, it’s very doubtful that a Chinese warship is traveling by itself. (Breitbart’s article on this refers to “vessels” that allegedly went through the canal, but the original Al Masdar report speaks of a single ship. The Breitbart post links to a report from Generational Dynamics that appears to combine the information from Al Masdar with that of the Pravda report discussed below.)


  16. French strikes in Syria to reap political, but not military gains

    French air strikes launched against Islamic State jihadists in Syria on Sunday may win Paris political capital, but are unlikely to yield serious military gains or stop terrorist attacks, analysts say.

    The strikes were announced on the eve of the UN General Assembly in New York where Syria is back in the diplomatic limelight after four years of grinding war that has sent tens of thousands of refugees fleeing to Europe.

    France, which has been the target of a series of jihadist attacks, has explained its change in strategy by saying it was acting in self-defence.

    However analysts say that by sending fighter jets to Syria, France is mainly seeking to ease domestic political pressure, and remain relevant abroad in the latest scramble for a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

    “To say that we will prevent terrorist attacks in France thanks to air strikes in Syria is, and I am weighing my words, absolute bullshit,” said Eric Denece, the director of the French intelligence think-tank CF2R.

    “When the Americans carry out thousands of strikes … it can have a limited impact. But for France in Syria, it will only be a few symbolic strikes. It is gesticulation, smoke and mirrors to deceive the public.”

    – ‘Symbolic, political impact’ –

    France has been part of the US-led coalition bombarding IS in Iraq since September 2014, and has carried out 215 out of nearly 4,500 strikes there, according to French and US figures.

    However until now it refused to join the US, Canada, Turkey and Gulf states in Syria, where the coalition has conducted some 2,500 strikes.

    But the latest attempted jihadist attack — by a gunman on a Paris-bound high-speed train in August — ramped up political pressure on Paris which ordered surveillance flights two weeks ago.

    France has been on high alert since Islamic extremists gunned down 17 people, including cartoonists at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, in a three-day killing spree in Paris in January.

    “What we want is to know what is being prepared against us and what is being done against the Syrian population,” President Francois Hollande said when he announced France’s intention to carry out strikes.

    However he ruled out sending French ground forces into Syria, saying it would be “unrealistic.”

    Denece said as the efforts were not accompanied by any ground troops, bombing from the air had limited impact.

    “We can already see it in Iraq, where the majority of American planes return to base without having dropped their bombs. And we have just learned the result of these operations were manipulated to make us think they were working.”

    Francois Burgat of the Institute for Research into the Arab and Muslim world in Aix-en-Provence agreed that the French air strikes “have in fact very little chance of significantly affecting the military balance.”

    But the “symbolic and political impact could be considered more important,” he told AFP.

    – Jihadists ‘have adapted’ –

    Faced with a highly mobile enemy dispersed among the population, the chances of destroying a training camp, command post or house where jihadists are sitting cooking up plans to attack France, are next to nothing, said a former high-placed official in French intelligence, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    He said such camps no longer existed.

    “Even if they have logistical or operational gatherings it is always fleeting. They know they are being observed continuously and they have adapted. They move all the time.

    “What we (France) want is to show that we are present in Syria, that we must be included in the political solution that is being drawn up. In the same way the Russians are showing it by reinforcing their military presence” in Syria.

    France’s air strikes against what Prime Minister Manuel Valls called IS “sanctuaries” comes after a series of humiliating blows for the military campaign against the jihadist group.

    In a shock admission on Friday, the Pentagon said a group of US-trained rebels had handed over ammunition and equipment to Al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate, the Al-Nusra Front, purportedly in exchange for safe passage.

    The US has also battled rumours of defections of Syrian rebels it has trained to fight against IS as well as accusations it manipulated intelligence about the effectiveness of its operations against the jihadists.

  17. SWEDEN -Bid to house refugees in Sweden’s empty jails

    Sweden’s migration minister said on Friday that refugees could be put up in empty prisons as he laid out steps to tackle the sharp rise in asylum seekers arriving in the Nordic country.

    “We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of refugees seeking asylum. That’s why I have told Migration Minister Morgan Johansson to urgently review what steps need to be taken,” Prime Minister Stefan Löfven told the TT newswire earlier on Friday ahead of a parliament debate on the escalating refugee crisis.

    “People need to get roofs over their heads and the children have to start school,” said Löfven, who heads Sweden’s Social Democrat-Green coalition government.

    The Nordic nation has a global reputation for helping refugees, but it has faced some criticism within Sweden following complaints from asylum seekers about long waiting times and access to housing.

    Migration Minister Morgan Johansson told a press conference on Friday that the government was looking at a range of options to house refugees, including using empty jails. Sweden has closed down several prisons in the past few years because of falling crime rates.

    “We’re looking at properties owned by the Prison and Probation Service and the Armed Forces,” said Johansson.

    Other actions that could be taken are increased coordination with the Swedish Migration Agency, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, and municipalities across the country to make sure that the new arrivals find somewhere to live.

    The government also wants to fast-track proposed legislation to force local authorities to accept refugees.[…]

    • More Swedes ‘want increase in refugees’ (thelocal, Sep 27, 2015)

      44 percent of respondents in an opinion poll undertaken by Ipsos for Sunday’s edition of Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, believe that Sweden should take more refugees – an increase of 18 percentage points since February.

      In February, a similar Ipsos survey on attitudes to immigration and integration found that 36 percent of Swedes felt that the country should admit fewer refugees. The percentage of those who wanted to receive more then was just 26 percent.

      However, the situation is now reversed.

      When Ipsos repeated the question this month, 44 percent of the respondents said that more refugees should be taken in, an increase of 18 percentage points.

      “It is not so common to see such very strong public opinion changes – this is a big increase,” says Nicklas Källebring, analyst at Ipsos.

      “It is difficult to know exactly when the oscillation occurred, but it is likely that there is a trigger because it is an unusually large reversal. It is significant and occurs in all population groups. It shows what an impact the issue has made with people,” Källebring.

      Those that favour fewer refugees being offered asylum has dropped from 36 percent to 30 percent.

      The percentage of respondents who thought that the current number was about right dropped 13 points to 20 percent.

      Another finding was that close to one in three Swedes are willing to host a refugee in their home.

      The poll also showed that seven out of ten Swedes are worried about heightened xenophobia.

      “It is interesting that it is very clear that people are more concerned about xenophobia than about increased immigration,” says Källebring.

      Although many Swedes agree with the the government’s position on refugees, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s administration does receive a rap on the knuckles from the poll.

      59 percent of respondents believe the government can do more to help the refugees from Syria.

      “It is obvious that there is a majority, even among the government’s own voters, that think they can do more than they do. This is a clear criticism of the government,” says Källebring.

      In recent years Sweden has taken in more asylum seekers per capita than any other EU nation.

      During 2015, the migration issue has become an increasingly hot topic in public debate in Sweden.

      The civil war in Syria and Isis terror in the region has displaced millions of people and the number of asylum seekers who have come to Sweden has increased for four consecutive years.

      Critical voices have questioned whether Sweden can afford to host refugees at a time when public finances are stretched.

      There has also been concern about the impact of integrating so many migrants into the economy and labour market.”

    • SWEDEN – Mohammad Khaled was one of thousands of Muslim migrants to arrive to Sweden and he and others was unhappy with what he was offered. The housing was not central enough, to far to schools and hospital for them.

    • CNN – Dr. Ben Carson on State of the Union: Full Interview

      Dr. Ben Carson explained his comments on Muslims and discussed the possibility of shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood funding.

      video ( 8 min 36 )

  18. CNN – Pelosi: Probe anti-abortion group over videos

    Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called for an investigation into the anti-abortion group that released edited sting videos of Planned Parenthood employees.

    video ( 1 min 45 )

  19. the guardian Deal to end civil war in Syria could allow president Bashar al-Assad to stay

    David Cameron goes to UN global poverty summit in New York holding out prospect of a transition arrangement

    David Cameron arrives at the United Nations on Sunday hoping to work with other countries on a deal to end Syria’s bitter civil war, a deal that could allow its president, Bashar al-Assad, to stay in power for an interim period.

    The prime minister, who arrives in New York for a UN summit aimed at curbing global poverty, backs the view of his foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, that Assad must ultimately step down but could remain for a while as part of a transitional government.

    Hammond told the Commons foreign affairs committee several weeks ago that Assad could be allowed to stay for up to six months, but a government source said Downing Street does not have a specific timeframe in mind, raising the possibility it could be longer.

    A British government source said: “The prime minister’s view is that there is not a long-term, stable, peaceful future for Syria where Syrian people can return home with President Assad as its leader, and that’s what we’ve got to work towards … We would be open to working with other countries on a solution whereby there is a transition. We haven’t got a specific timeframe for when we think Assad should go. We’ve always been clear that there would need to be some sort of transition.”

    Russia’s continued backing for Assad, including the dispatch of troops and aircraft to Syria last week, appears to be forcing the west to reconsider its position on the four-year civil war, in which the dictator is battling Islamic State and a wide variety of other insurgent groups. The UN general assembly in New York offers an opportunity for world leaders to inject new momentum into international talks on Syria, especially as attendees include US president Barack Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

    The prime minister has issued a robust defence of his approach to the Syrian refugee crisis and other humanitarian challenges across the world ahead of the summit. In an exclusive article for the Observer, he argues that the UK’s multibillion-pound overseas aid programme has provided “life-saving support” to millions of people displaced by the conflict in Syria.

    Cameron says the UK aid payments, now totalling around £12bn a year, allow this country to meet its moral obligations and respond fast to global challenges as they arise.[…]

    Obama Administration: Terror-War Authorizations Don’t OK Defending US-Trained Syrians Against Assad

    Instead, Administration officials say, the Constitution give the president the authority, in certain circumstances, to order action against Assad’s forces.

    Obama administration officials have begun telling senators that the legal authorizations that undergird the war on terror don’t permit the U.S. military to defend U.S.-trained Syrian fighters against troops commanded by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — but that the Constitution does.

    “If Syrian government forces attack the Syrian fighters we have trained and equipped while they were engaging ISIL, the President would have the authority under Article II of the Constitution to defend those fighters,” a senior administration official told Defense One.

    It’s an acknowledgement that the mission in Syria has grown past its already-stretched-thin legal framework, and that the White House is contemplating increasing anti-ISIS military action in Syria beyond the ongoing air campaign — perhaps by enforcing no-fly zones or safe enclaves on the ground.

    […]But if U.S.-trained Syrian forces “are attacked by the regime in a particular circumstance, we could — the president could exercise his Article II rights under the Constitution,” Wormuth said.

    Responded Kaine, “I have not seen an interpretation of Article II — ever — that would allow the United States to undertake action under Article II to protect others’ fighters.”

    Such concerns have led other members of the Armed Services Committee to ask Defense Secretary Ash Carter for a briefing on the changes he is considering for the program and the new legal argument. “The troubling state of the program calls into question its role in our counter-ISIL operations,” wrote Sens. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., in a letter released Friday evening.[…]

    • Australia set to abandon opposition to Assad as part of Syria settlement

      Julie Bishop indicates policy shift to strengthen Syrian regime and bolster opposition to Islamic State, as Russian backing for Assad forces rethink

      Australia is set to abandon the Abbott government’s position that the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, must step aside as part of any durable peace settlement.

      The major policy shift is aimed at hastening the end of the bloody civil war in Syria, the Australian reported on Saturday. It also reflects the reality of the large-scale deployment of Russian forces and materiel in Syria, including tanks, artillery, advanced fighter and reconnaissance aircraft and more than 2,000 personnel.

      The foreign minister, Julie Bishop, told the newspaper there was an emerging consensus that the Assad regime would likely be pivotal in fortifying the Syrian state and preventing further gains by the Islamic State group.

      “It is evident there must be a political as well as a military solution to the conflict in Syria,” she said, noting that Australia would play its part in achieving that.

      “There is an emerging view in some quarters that the only conceivable option would be a national unity government involving President Assad.”[…]

    • `strong>’Everyone has accepted’ Assad should stay: Iran’s Rouhani

      Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday he saw a widespread acceptance among major powers that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad should stay in office.

      “I think today everyone has accepted that President Assad must remain so that we can combat the terrorists,” Rouhani told CNN.

      Iran and Russia are the key allies of Assad, who has faced Western demands that he step down amid a war that has killed more than 240,000 people and caused four million to flee.

      But the United States has been hitting Islamic State extremists opposed to Assad, with France on Sunday launching its first strike.

      “In Syria, when our first objective is to drive out terrorists and combating terrorists to defeat them, we have no solution other than to strengthen the central authority and the central government of that country as a central seat of power,” said Rouhani, who is visiting New York for the UN General Assembly.

  20. DAILY MAIL – Fury as Saudi’s hajj chief blames African pilgrims for stampede that killed 700 – as country’s top cleric says it was ‘beyond human control’

    The head of committee which oversees the hajj pilgrimage sparks outrage over comments blaming worshippers
    Saudi Prince Khaled al-Faisal reportedly blamed the stampede on ‘some pilgrims with African nationalities’
    It comes as country’s top religious cleric, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, says disaster was beyond human control
    Tehran has also stepped up its criticism of Saudi authorities, saying they are incapable of handling the event

  21. Austria: Police enforce price controls on taxis after scores of refugees scammed

    Police officers began enforcing price controls on taxis at the Austrian border town of Nickelsdorf, Sunday, after scores of refugees were scammed by taxi drivers who charged excessive prices to reach Vienna and other Austrian cities. Drivers were reportedly charging refugees up to €1,000 ($1,120) to reach Vienna.

  22. Fighting in Central African Republic Capital Kills 36 (abcnews, Sep 27, 2015)

    “Sectarian violence in Central African Republic’s capital has killed at least 36 people and injured at least 80, hospital workers said Sunday.

    Fighting began early Saturday as Muslims attacked a Christian neighborhood in Bangui after the dead body of a Muslim man was left near a mosque, said Ousmane Abakar, a Muslim community leader.

    At least 36 people had been killed and 80 wounded on Saturday and Sunday, according to workers at three hospitals who insisted on anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the press.

    The government on Sunday announced a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew to curtail the violence.

    Earlier Sunday Christian anti-Balaka militia members were on the streets, retaliating for Saturday’s violence. Gunfire could be heard in two neighborhoods.

    In other parts of Bangui, people erected barricades to block traffic, leaving only army and gendarmerie vehicles on the streets. Young people held a march with signs calling for peace.

    “It’s very sad to see violence of such a scale occur once again, as we haven’t experienced anything like this since October last year,” said Emmanuel Lampaert, head of Doctors Without Borders mission Central African Republic.

    Security Minister Dominique Said Paguindji said on state radio Sunday that the violence was meant to upset the transitional government put in place in January 2014, as it prepares for October elections. Presidential and legislative elections are slated for Oct. 18.

    Central African Republic erupted into widespread sectarian violence after the Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew the president in 2013 and the Christian anti-Balaka militiamen formed to combat them.”

  23. Militants allied to Islamic State attack Afghanistan forces (BBC, Sep 27, 2015)

    “At least 300 Islamic State fighters have attacked checkpoints in eastern Afghanistan, in a rare co-ordinated assault on the security forces.

    Two policemen were killed in the ongoing attacks in Nangarhar province, a local official told the BBC.

    Government forces are resisting the attacks, in Achin district, and have killed 60 militants, he said.

    Militants affiliated to Islamic State have have been gaining support in Afghanistan.

    A statement purportedly issued by an IS affiliate claimed a “big attack” had been carried out in Nangarhar.

    Locals in the province say the group has been torturing and beheading people and taking prisoners.

    The attacks come a day after a special operation by government forces killed 51 IS militants, according to a spokesman for the Afghan interior ministry…”

  24. Egypt’s Sisi to AP: Country in ‘ferocious war’ with terrorism (ahram, Sep 27, 2015)

    “Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said in an interview that the Mideast region needs to cooperate to defeat a worsening terrorist threat that has led to a “ferocious war” in Egypt and created the danger of some countries “sliding into failure.”
    In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press Saturday night, El-Sisi also said that Syria should not be divided after its civil war, that the Egyptian military needs to be “augmented” to defeat terrorists fighting in the Sinai and Western Desert, and that efforts should be renewed to solve the Palestinian issue and expand Egypt’s nearly 40-year-peace with Israel to include more Arab countries.

    Resolving the Palestinian question, he said, could “change the face of the region and … bring about enormous improvement to the situation. … I’m optimistic by nature and I say that there is a great opportunity.”

    The 60-year-old former military chief, who ran for president and assumed office in 2014 after his predecessor Mohamed Morsi was ousted in 2013, spoke with AP at a New York hotel on Saturday night after he addressed a U.N. summit that adopted new development goals for the next 15 years. He will also attend the annual ministerial meeting of the General Assembly at U.N. headquarters that begins Monday…”

  25. Italy deports 22 Egyptians for illegal immigration (ahram, Sep 27, 2015)–Egyptians-for-illegal-immigration-.aspx

    “Italy deported Saturday 22 Egyptians for illegal immigration, Egypt’s state owned MENA news agency reported Sunday.

    The 22 Egyptians arrived at Cairo International Airport from Catania, located on Italy’s east coast.

    A security source told MENA that the deported Egyptians admitted they tried to enter Italy illegally by sea.

    In recent years, thousands of Egyptians have attempted to cross the Mediterranean in search of better work opportunities.

    Hundreds have been arrested in similar attempts to migrate to Italy.

    Many have drowned in the process.”

  26. SERBIA – BELGRADE – Abu Dhabi Developer Signs $3 Billion Belgrade Deal [ April 2015 ]

    […]68 per cent owned by the Abu Dhabi company

    […]Total built-up surface will be about 1 million square metres, including 5,700 homes, office buildings, eight hotels with 2,200 rooms and the Balkan’s largest shopping mall of 140,000 square metres.

    […]Eagle Hills, led by Emaar Properties Chairman Mohamed Alabbar,

    […]In return, the Abu Dhabi developer will be granted a 99-year lease on the land.

    SEPT 27 2015 – Serbia: Protesters rally against government-backed Belgrade Waterfront project

  27. Four stabbed in night of violence in Norrköping (thelocal, Sep 27, 2015)

    “Four people, including two security guards, were stabbed during two bar brawls in the southern Swedish city of Norrköping on Saturday night.

    The security guards were attacked at a bar in the centre of Norrköping at around 3am. The alleged perpetrators – two teenagers – were arrested for attempted murder after witnesses overpowered them.

    “The security guards were attacked and stabbed, but I do not know the reason. We will talk to the arrested men in the morning when they have sobered up,” said Lars Engström, station officer for Norrköping police.

    The hospital stated this morning that the two men, who are 30 and 45-years-old, have life-threatening injuries and are in intensive care.

    Shortly after the attack, two more men were stabbed at another nightspot in town after an “altercation” involving 21 people.

    One of the men has a life-threatening injury and is intensive care.

    The offenders in the second incident have not yet been apprehended, according to Engström, but police will be speaking to witnesses on Sunday.”

  28. Populist Party Surges in Austria Regional Election (abcnews, Sep 27, 2015)

    “Austria’s populist, right-of-center Freedom Party has doubled its share of the vote in a regional election amid concern about the influx of refugees in recent months.

    Preliminary results put the Freedom Party in second place, with 30.9 percent of the vote in Sunday’s Upper Austria election — compared with the 15.4 percent it received in 2009.

    The party’s gain contrasts with a 6-percent loss for the center-left Social Democrats and an 11-percent loss for the center-right People’s Party, which remained in first place with 37.4 percent of the vote.

    Exit polls published by broadcaster ORF showed almost two-thirds of voters placed a heavy emphasis on the issue of refugees.

    Austria has become a transit country for tens of thousands of people hoping to start a new life in Europe.”

  29. Uzbekistan Bans Children from Mosques on Eid Al-Adha Festival (abna, Sep 27, 2015)

    “Claiming that children minds should not be distracted by religion, Uzbekistan pro-Russia government has banned children from attending regular Friday and `Eid prayer in mosques, in the latest violation of their religious rights.

    The government’s position was that “children’s brains should not be distracted” from school studies by religion, Ubaidullo Azimov, said a local official in Tashkent.

    Azimov added that the government thinks children should only learn what is taught at school, and that religious studies should take place only after students have finished their high-school studies.

    The local official was referring to the latest order issued by Uzbekistan’s Education Ministry on September 23 which imposed a fine of about $750 on parents if their children were caught by the authorities in mosque.

    The huge fine equals to 15 months’ salary at the country’s minimum wage.

    It also warns imams at mosques not to allow anyone under the age of 18 into prayer services.

    On the other hand, President Islam Karimov on August 18 declared that September 24 was a public holiday in Uzbekistan so that Muslims can celebrate `Eid. It makes no specific reference to any ban on children in mosques.

    Karimov’s decree also congratulated the country’s Muslims on the holiday.

    Muslims celebrate `Eid Al-Adha, or “Feast of Sacrifice” which marks the end of annual hajj.

    Uzbekistan is Central Asia’s most populous nation.

    Rights groups have long accused Uzbekistan of suppressing religious freedoms as part of a campaign against Islamic extremism.

    In a 2012 country report, the New York-based Human Rights Watch accused the Uzbek authorities of continuing “their unrelenting, multi-year campaign of arbitrary detention, arrest and torture of Muslims who practice their faith outside state controls”.

    In March 2012, Uzbek authorities prohibited the sale of religious clothing, specifically hijabs and face veil, at several Tashkent markets following a secretive ban on sales.”

  30. Mark Langfan’s spinning doomsday scenarios on the eve of Sukkot, having enjoyed extra-hard-cidar under the blood-moon. (Feasting in Booths for a week with this guy oughta be fun.)

    Russian Arms: to Syria Today, Tomorrow to a “Demilitarized Palestine”
    This article’s doomsday scenario is only a few hours away from the creation of a Palestinian State.

    In the time it would take an Israeli tourist to finish an Israeli breakfast, Russia deployed close to a thousand Russian special ops soldiers to Syria.  No UN resolution. No discussion.  No nothing.  “President” Assad, the genocidal mass-murderer of hundreds of thousands of Sunnis, merely “invited” the Russians to come, and they came.

    The Russians  came with mobile anti-aircraft missile batteries, various Russian special forces and nuclear submarines armed with enough nuclear bombs on the one submarine to incinerate the practically the entire world. If ever a terrorist Palestinian state is formed in the “West Bank”, any Palestinian terrorist president can, and will, just as easily invite the Russians into their new country within a day.  Before Israel, or anyone will know it, Russians and their anti-aircraft missile batteries will line the Green Line. The moment that happens, start saying Kaddish for Israel.??

    What exactly are Israel and Netanyahu going to do the afternoon of the morning during which Russia slips a thousand Speznetz paratroops into the newly formed “West Bank Palestine”?

    Far-fetched? Well, despite the accelerating proliferation of jihadi groups faster than you can say “Alluhu akbar,” and Obama’s cash infusion of 150 billion dollars into the Iran leading-state-sponsor-of-terror, Prime Minister Netanyahu is still talking about a “Palestinian State”. With European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed his commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu declared: “I support the vision of two states for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state,” he declared. (Whisky tango foxtrot?-ML)

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